Civil rights attorney Ken Tilsen waged a lifelong battle on behalf of the poor and the downtrodden.
He defended American Indian Movement followers during the Wounded Knee occupation, draft resisters during the Vietnam War, striking union workers, farmers opposed to high-voltage power lines, protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention and myriad others at odds with the establishment.
Tilsen, 85, died Sunday night at his home in Hudson, Wis. He had congestive heart failure and other health problems and had been in hospice care for a few months, family members and friends said.
“If you’d ask him, he’d say, ‘I’m 85 years old and the parts are wearing out,’ ” his son David said Monday.